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2010 NFL Gambling Odds: Guts, Brains, Forecast or Bust?

Welcome to the first edition of our weekly article that feature Fooch, Florida Danny and myself (Andrew Davidson) betting "money" on this week's action of NFL games. First and foremost, this is not to encourage gambling in any way, shape or form and the three of us will betting money from fictional bankrolls. If you want to follow along at home with your own bankrolls that's fine, but again, please understand we are not intending this to encourage users risk their own hard earned cash. The main competition is going to test three forms of betting/analysis versus one another to crown a champion at season's end. Will Fooch's gut prevail? Will Florida Danny's Super Computer (his brain) triumph? Will my conservative bankroll management pave way to victory?

All three of us will begin with $1,000 in our bankrolls, and if at any point we go broke, we can reload back in at the original $1,000 marker. Of course, we'll be keeping track of our earnings throughout the season, and going bankrupt definitely isn't going to help anyone's cause. In fact, it might lead Fooch's gut to start making riskier picks and it could definitely lead to my sphincter tightening up and taking conservative to a whole new level. It's all meant to measure which way of betting will prove to be most successful. Florida Danny's method will include the Kelly Criterion as he'll be determining his wager amounts based specifically on betting edge, payout odds and bankroll total (for further explanation see Danny). I'm still working to come up with my exact formula, but I'm forecasting game spreads in advance, then calculating my bets based on payouts odds compared to what my previous forecasts would've suggested. Also, I will only be able to risk 10% of my bankroll per week in an effort to remain about water. Fooch will be flying be the seat of his pants, and one great bet can pay great dividends or bring the giant down.

Most of the payout odds are going to be provided by, but I'll rely on other sportsbooks for Money Lines, Point Spreads, Parlay Bets or Over/Under if necessary (,, and Fooch likes NFL injuries can usually play a factor, and I've been following them at After the jump you'll find our bet cards and comments for Week 2 in the NFL.

LEGEND: V-vistor, H-home, ATS-Against the Spread Pick, ML - Money Line Pick, PO - Payout Odds, RISK - money bet, RTN - Return on money (Totals of RTN do not include the RISK total)

Fooch's Bet Card

BUF GB-14 GB   -105 $50.00 $47.62
BAL-3 CIN BAL   EVEN $25.00 $25.00
ARI ATL-7 ATL   EVEN $20.00 $20.00
HOU-3 WAS HOU   -110 $50.00 $45.45
NE-3 NYJ NE   -115 $50.00 $45.45
STL OAK   STL +165 $20.00 $33.00
NWO SF   SF +210 $20.00 $42.00
BAL-3 CIN BAL        
BUF GB-14 GB        
NYG IND-6 IND        
HOU-3 WAS HOU     $20.00 $271.08
TB CAR-3.5   TB      
SEA DEN-3.5 SEA        
KC CLE-2   CLE   $20.00 $188.08
          $275.00 $717.68

Fooch's Comments:

  • BUF @ GB: The Packers are good, the Bills are awful. It's a big spread, but I think the Packers are that good (even without Ryan Grant) and the Bills are that bad.
  • BAL @ CIN: I realize the Ravens are coming off a short week, but the Bengals didn't show me anything last week. I realize they were at New England, but I'm not feeling very confident in the Bengals. On the other hand, consider me part of the Ravens bandwagon (for betting purposes). The offense was pretty offensive on MNF, but I think they'll pull it together sooner rather than later.
  • ARI @ ATL: Really this is more about how little I believe in Derek Anderson than how much I believe in an apparently now questionable Falcons team.
  • STL @ OAK: I'm fairly certain I'm getting suckered in on this one. But after what Chris Johnson did to the Raiders, I think Steven Jackson can have some fun and put the fightin Sam Bradfords in a position to win.
  • HOU @ WAS: I'm prepared to ride the Texans bandwagon until it drives me into the safety rail. I honestly think this is either a Texans blowout or a Texans loss, no close Texans win.
  • NWO @ SF: This is how Vegas and online sportsbooks make their money. Suckers like me betting on my favorite team in a potentially ugly matchup. I do think the 49ers can win this, but it's gonna be a tough battle. I'm thinking close 49ers win or ugly 49ers loss (no close 49ers loss).
  • PARLAY CARD 1: All favorites that I feel decently about. I'm not so sure about the Colts, but I'll take Peyton over Eli I suppose.
  • PARLAY CARD 2: wanted to roll with an upset special using some teams I didn't bet on in their individual games. All three teams won last week and I suppose that means I should stay away from all of them this week. Only the Bucs were favored last week, and this week they travel to the enigma that is the Carolina Panthers. The Seahawks head to Mile High and the Chiefs head to a Browns squad that beat by the Bucs last week. And I just realized I've parlayed three road teams. This should be interesting.

Davidson's Bet Card


KC CLE-2  KC +110 $15.00 $16.50
MIA MIN-6 MIN   -105 $10.00 $9.52
JAX SD-7 SD   -110 $10.00 $9.09
PHI-6.5 DET PHI   -105 $25.00 $23.81
CHI DAL-7.5 DAL   -105 $15.00 $14.29
SEA DEN-3.5 DEN   -110 $10.00 $9.09
BUF GB-14 GB   -105 $10.00 $9.52
KC CLE-2 KC        
ARI ATL-7 ATL        
MIA MIN-6 MIN        
HOU-3 WAS HOU        
NWO-6 SF SF        
JAX SD-7 SD     $5.00 $254.34
          $100.00 $346.16

Davidson's Comments:

  • KC @ CLE: The Money Line makes more sense for me to bet instead of the spread. I'd be getting a payout odd of -110 on the spread (which includes a push factor), but a better +110 for the team to just win. Jake Delhomme is Doubtful, and I'm happy to have Kansas City as a dog in this game.
  • MIA @ MIN: Not a great spread with the -6 bringing a push into play, but you can get MIN -5.5 at other sportsbooks. Percy Harvin is Questionable, so are Chris Cook and Cedric Griffin, so my confidence in this game drops $5. Everything in my calculations still point towards the Vikings.
  • JAX @ SD: Again, another game with the push factor coming into play. Common sense might tell me to stay away from these games, but I'm sticking with what I think might work. There's no sense touching the money line in this game unless I'm rolling with Jacksonville, which I'm definitely not doing.
  • PHI @ DET: With Shaun Hill in at QB for Detroit and Vick taking the reigns for Philly, there's a bit of an unpredictable variable here. Using Week 1's stats can lead me into a trap, but Philadelphia's offense can distribute the ball to its running backs, and with Vick scrambling there won't be much Detroit can do. Louis Delmas is listed as questionable on Detroits injury report.
  • CHI @ DAL: I'm expecting a different Cowboys team to show up at home this weekend against the Bears than last week. There's no sample of Chicago's play on the road, but the -115 doesn't make it a big enough favourite for me. I feel it's smarter money taking the home team's payout in this case.
  • SEA @ DEN: Some people might view this as an anger bet, but I assure you I'm not bitter towards Seattle because of Week 1's results. The Seahawks are without a LT, as Pitts is going to miss the game and Okung isn't able to return. Denver just seems to have the edge in every category. When a game remains -110, there's likely the same amount of bets on both teams, and the sportsbook ends out ahead $1 per game regardless.
  • BUF @ GB: The main reason I'm not betting more on Green Bay is the payout odds and the push factor. Buffalo struggles against the run, and will struggle even more without Paul Posluszny. Trent Edwards isn't a top tier QB, so I don't expect the Packers secondary to struggle. I'd be happy to plunk down my entire $100 on GB if the spread was -13.5 (ok, maybe not).
  • PARLAY: Not much to say here, just showing you that parlay bets are hard to win. I figured I'd make it even hard for myself by picking all games with potential pushes. Risking 5% of my $100 shouldn't come back to bite me in the rear, considering the ridiculous payout. And heck, I squeezed the Niners in on my card just for the sake of it (this is something I'm only doing early on).

Danny's Bet Card

BAL-3 CIN   BAL -150 $40.50 $27.00
KC CLE-2   KC +110 $53.40 $58.74
HOU-3 WAS   WAS +120 $74.40 $89.28
          $168.30 $175.02

Danny's Comments:

  • BAL @ CIN: Let me preface (otherwise known as CYA’ing) these by saying that there’s no way any statistical model is going to be all that accurate after one week of results. I’m still refining the models for this year, but my moneyline model from last year says BAL has a 75.3% chance to win their game against CIN, which is much better than the 57.98% fair win probability implied by the betting market.
  • KC @ CLE, HOU @ WAS: For the Chiefs, my model says they’ve got a 74.8% chance to beat CLE, whereas the market gives them only a 45.73% chance. Finally, the model says WAS has an 86.1% chance to beat HOU, whereas the market gives them only a 43.79%. Each of these constitute the biggest discrepancies between the game favorite’s win probabilities predicted by my model and the ones implied by the market.
  • CYA: In terms of my betting amounts, that’s a discussion for another day. First I have to (a) finish this year’s model, and (b) drink myself into oblivion for actually believing a model that says the Texans only have a 14% shot to beat the Redskins!